PHM2204 Lecture 2 - PHM2204 David Copp Fall 2007 THE...

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PHM2204 Fall 2007 David Copp THE DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE AND THE U.S. CONSTITUTION In a key passage beginning the second paragraph, the Declaration reads: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. — That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, — That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government.” Key terms and concepts: A: Self-evidence: A proposition p is self-evident just if p is true and anyone who adequately understood p and reflected carefully would be justified to believe that p. (For recent discussion of this idea, see works by Russ Shafer-Landau and Robert Audi.) B: That all men are created equal : Jefferson was a slave-owner and slavery was legal in the United States. The U.S. Constitution protected slavery. Women did not have the right to vote. There were radical differences in wealth in the country (and still are).
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